Time has a way of marching along at a rather quick pace. I feel as if I’ve blinked and May has whirled by in a blur of color. It’s been an eventful month! If life were a story, this particular chapter would be chock full of new subplots. Shall I unspool them all for you?
Yes. I shall.
I’ve started working at a new job. Last month I had some training shifts, and the beginning of May brought with it a sizable chunk of online learning. In the meantime, I’ve been asking hundreds of questions as I learn the ropes and get settled into a new schedule. This job was a real answer to prayer, so I’m glad to adjust to a new season of life!
Another notable happening was two dear friends’ graduations from two different Bible/leadership colleges. So exciting to celebrate their accomplishments!
The first couple weeks of May were grey and rainy. Perfect weather for curling up with a book, either one to read or one to write. I’m not a slow reader, nor am I the devour-ten-books-a-week sort of girl. But I am pleased with the six novels in which I’ve spent time this month.
Outlaw—really different from the usual Dekker book, but still with his distinct hue. Not for the faint of heart!
Divergent—a reread, and a good one at that. It was interesting to remember how the book differed from the movie.
The next three books are the result of a little something I did with my siblings. The four of us visited the library and picked out a book for each of our sibs to read. So we all ended up with three new books to try. It gets us out of our usual reading zone, and also gives us some common reads to discuss afterwards. 11 Birthdays was chosen by my youngest sister, and was an adorable tale of two friends stuck reliving their eleventh birthday over and over and over again. The Storybook of Legends was picked by my middle sister, and basically smashed a bunch of fairy-tale characters into a story about choice versus fate. The False Prince was selected by my brother, and lulled me into the happy trance of a good fantasy before jolting me awake with a great plot twist. I was a wee bit jealous of the author’s idea, to tell you the truth.
Right now I’m in the last third of Insurgent! And, um, it’s kind of . . . sad . . . and heavy . . . but really intense, so I’m not complaining. Apparently I like getting my literary heart ripped out.
Oh! Speaking of which, in May I have also had my heart ripped out by some awesome movies.
The Battle of the Five Armies: all I have to say is OUCH. Well, that and OHMYGOODNESSITWASAMAZING. Intense battles, fabulous character development, and great set-up for LotR. An epic conclusion to the Hobbit trilogy!
And perhaps my favorite flick of the month (okay, it’s tied with TBotFA) was Age of Ultron. I’ve heard people say it wasn’t as good as the first Avengers film, but I have no idea what they’re talking about. This was EPIC. And it ripped my heart out too. See, I’m just a bleeding puddle of feels this month. (Ew. That was graphic. My apologies.)
Anyway, I did say it was the perfect rainy weather for writing books as well as reading them, did I not? So because my book 1 is sitting on the backburner for now, I decided to tackle book 2. I wrote the first draft three years ago at the ripe old age of sixteen and declared it marvellous, full of tight writing and great characters. I recently reread it and . . . well, yes, I did marvel at it, but only in the sense of “Ahahaha, you say I wrote this monstrosity? Did I really?” The writing was . . . er, yes, we could call it tight. We could also call it bland and lackluster and far too fast. The characters displayed great amounts of inconsistency, passivity, and stupidity—so of course sixteen-year-old-me was partially right in labeling them ‘great.’ And let’s please ignore the plot’s gaping, dragon-sized holes. Yes. We won’t comment on that.
Needless to say, I was (and am) faced with a good deal of work. All of which I’m very excited about, don’t get me wrong! I can’t wait to plow into this project, kick it all into pieces, and put them back together again in a much better way.
|A peek at my brilliance. ;)|
So during this month of May, I have been masterminding. What’s that, you wonder? Well, it stands to reason that if I, the author of this obstinate fantasy series, am the mastermind behind the story, then the act of worldbuilding and hatching brilliant plots could be called ‘masterminding.’ We can definitely change a noun to a verb, right? (Aaaand I just checked. Apparently I’m not as original as I thought: masterminding is already a word. Phooey.)
Anyway, this masterminding is more than plotting. It goes beyond worldbuilding. It’s not even the same thing as brainstorming, although all three of those things play significant parts. For me, it was pulling my scattered notes, thoughts, and ideas together and deciding, once and for all, exactly how the big story elements work. I took a look at the people, worlds, and objects that are important in these books, and documented how/where/when/why they do what they do. It was great fun! My file isn’t entirely complete, but it’s a good launch pad for what I have in mind.
Oh, and did I mention that I decided on almost three thousand years’ worth of history in another world? Just the big events, but still, it left me feeling quite powerful in an author-ish sort of way.
While I found the drizzly weather lovely for bookish pursuits, one of the resident robins felt that the wet conditions were perfect for nest-building. This would not normally be a notable thing, except for the small detail of where he decided to construct it: on top of an outdoor light.
|(I apologize for the poor zoom quality.|
Birds don't like you getting too close.)
I suppose he was tired of living in trees like a sensible bird, and wanted a better view of the goings-on around him. Not the tidiest nest-maker, either, is he? Sadly, we did not allow that pile of seaweed slop to stay. (At least I thought it resembled seaweed.) But lucky for the robin, there are plenty of spruces in which to nest instead.
Thankfully the rain stopped and the sun returned in time for garden planting, walk taking, and sun tanning.
And with the big series elements in place, I took a deep breath and plunged into outlining book 2. Version One (or Version Horrendous; you choose) is itty bitty. 68,000 words, eighteen chapters. The new version is looking to be twenty-eight chapters or more. I am positively bursting with excitement! Since I’ve grown so much as a writer in the last few years, this will be an entirely different book once I’m through with it.
And that, fellow questers, is what my May looked like! The life of an employee has begun, a new book is underway, some friends are entering new phases of life, and several literary/film adventures wriggled their way into the cracks in my busy schedule. How was your month of May? Anything new happening, or perhaps something old-yet-significant?
(By the way, if you’re still reading this longwinded thing, my hat’s off to you.)
And just a quick heads-up—I have a special announcement coming early next week. Stay tuned!
Oh, and one other thing. I’ve been wanting to do these summary-of-the-month posts because they’re excellent places to throw in all the random bits of life that don’t necessarily merit their own individual articles. But I’m not sure about the title, Subplots and Storylines. What say you? Does it fit? Too cheesy? Other ideas I had were Wanderings or Far-Flung Paths or Motley Tales. Any suggestions? Nothing’s too out of the box around here.
Well, here’s to an adventuresome June! Wherever the road may take you, I hope you find courage to step around the bend and strength to lift your sword.